On Friday, the State Department released their final environmental impact review of the proposed extension of the already-operational Keystone XL pipeline that would help connect Canadian oil sands and North Dakotan shale to a network reaching the Gulf Coast’s refineries, and the State Department essentially concluded exactly what they did in their previous versions of the report: That oil from Canada’s oil sands does emit marginally more greenhouse gases than that from conventional crude, but that the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is a non-issue in net climate-change consequences because Canada will develop those resources with or without it.
The report didn’t really provide any valid reasons for President Obama to nix the project, so the greens would very much like to visibly remind the president of just how strongly they oppose the whole situation. Via the NYT:
On Monday, activists plan to hold “rapid-response vigils” around the country, primarily at the State Department and other federal offices, said Elijah Zarlin of Credo, one of several groups backing the demonstrations. Ms. Sittenfeld said a campaign to inundate State Department offices with emails and phone calls will begin early next week.
“Given the lack of a key breakthrough,” Mr. Zarlin said, activists are going to be “more motivated than ever.”
The same holds true for the groups’ wealthy donors, said Betsy Taylor, a philanthropic adviser on environmental issues.
“The biggest effect right now is that more money is going to flow,” said Ms. Taylor, adding that she had already received an offer from a donor to pay for the buses to bring activists to Washington.
Of course, they won’t reveal the full extent of their opposition just yet — they’re leaving those reserves in the tank (heh) in case the State Department’s next report on whether the pipeline is ‘in the national interest’ doesn’t produce a favorable outcome. Via BuzzFeed:
CREDO, a San Francisco-based progressive organizing group, has repeatedly promised to unleash an army of tens of thousands of activists to commit acts of civil disobedience across the country if Keystone goes ahead. Becky Bond, CREDO executive director, said the group is not ready to pull that trigger quite yet, but will be an active participant in the upcoming protests.
“Over 76,000 people have pledged to get arrested if necessary to stop the president from approving this pipeline. And over 100 events have already been planned and are ready to go should they be necessary,” she said. “We think these numbers will double — both of people taking the pledge and of events, if [Secretary of State John] Kerry advises the president to approve this pipeline.”
“But this won’t happen today,” she said. “That is a couple of months down the line.”
Good grief. These guys can go out and protest their hearts out ’til the cows come home, but until they come up with a better plan than their senselessly vociferous opposition to an infrastructure project that won’t actually impact net carbon emissions, merely because they quixotically wish the world would turn away from fossil fuels in an act of voluntary impoverishment, they aren’t doing themselves any favors.